'Bachelorette' shakeup: Tayshia Adams will be second Black lead as she replaces Clare Crawley

The upcoming season of the The Bachelorette might actually be the most dramatic season ever. Yahoo Entertainment can confirm reports that Clare Crowley has been replaced by Tayshia Adams, about two weeks into filming. Adams will be the second Black lead in over 40 seasons of The Bachelor franchise.

Here's what we know about the shakeup:

Clare’s out — because she fell in love.

Crawley, who competed on Juan Pablo’s season of The Bachelor and appeared in numerous spinoffs, was announced as the Bachelorette for Season 16 in March. Fans were ecstatic that at age 39, the hairstylist would be the oldest lead in the show’s history. But the coronavirus pandemic halted production just one day before she was set to meet her group of men. Filming resumed last month, and as the saying goes, good things come to those who wait. According to multiple reports, Crawley exited the show as she fell in love early on with a contestant.

“You’ll just have to wait and see what happens,” a source teased to Yahoo, who confirmed that Crawley’s journey will play out on the upcoming season.

(Photo: Getty Images)
Clare Crawley has been replaced by Tayshia Adams as the new Bachelorette. (Photo: Getty Images)

Life & Style reports Crawley is engaged to contestant Dale Moss, a former NFL player. Apparently, they started talking during the show’s hiatus.

“One of her potential guys found a way to get in touch with her and they began talking,” a source told People, without naming the guy. “By the time filming officially began, they were basically already in love. No one else stood a chance. It just became so obvious from her subsequent few dates that her heart wasn’t in it and she just wasn’t feeling it. Then she said she wanted out.”

A second insider added to the magazine, “There's more to the story than just [Clare] falling for someone and not wanting to see what else could happen with other men.”

Tayshia’s in — because she wants to fall in love.

Adams is a fan-favorite from Colton Underwood’s season of The Bachelor. She also appeared on Bachelor in Paradise where she found love with John Paul Jones; however, they split last year. Although it’s unclear exactly how she was brought in to replace Crawley — and how it will play out on camera — Yahoo’s source said she’s in it for the right reasons.

“People love Tayshia. She’s so genuine and really looking for love. There’s a reason fans connect with her,” the insider shared.

Adams will be the second Black lead as Rachel Lindsay made franchise history as the first in 2017. The Bachelor will also have its first Black lead next season with Matt James. The news follows people’s demand for diversity on the dating show.

But what does this mean for production?

There’s no indication that the new season will be delayed, but Yahoo’s source admits “a lot is being figured out on the go right now.” Both Adams and Crawley’s journeys will play out, but it’s unknown at this time if Adams will get some new suitors or if eliminated men will be allowed to return. What we do know is that anyone coming in — including Adams — will have to be tested for COVID-19 and quarantine for 14 days. Production is underway at a resort outside of Palm Springs, Calif., which is closed to outside guests.

Bachelor Nation is thrilled

Although ABC has not officially commented on the casting shakeup, Bachelor and Bachelorette alums are sending well-wishes to Adams. Underwood joked he hopes his ex finds “a better kisser.”

Lindsay said she’s “thrilled.”

“When I stepped in as Bachelorette, I wanted to pave a way for more diversity, for more people who look like me and who didn’t look like the typical lead,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “So to see another Bachelorette of color, I’m thrilled.”

Lindsay continued, “I have been fighting for inclusion, and I‘ve said before that Tayshia would be an excellent Bachelorette, so I am more than happy to pass the torch. I am so excited to see what she’s going to do, how she will represent herself and her journey to find love. Now she’s in the driver’s seat, and I’m excited to see her get this opportunity.”

Former Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky, who said she knew her top two men on night one of filming, said it’s “amazing” Crawley left the show for love.

“I feel like Clare, maybe if she was like, 'There is no top two, there is a top one, and I know it right now and I'm done' ... I think that's so awesome, not only that she figured it out if that's the case, but I think it's awesome of the show to let that happen,” she told ET.

But perhaps the most interesting reaction — and ringing endorsement of Adams — came from Crawley. On Sunday, she liked a tweet from a fan about Adams being her successor. (Crawley eventually un-liked it, but social media captures everything.) Also, the fact Crawley had access to a phone or computer means she’s no longer in the filming bubble in Palm Springs.

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